Turkey: Sovereign Systemic Trouble?

The strategically important nation of Turkey is in Trouble; big Trouble!  Turkey has threatened to invade Greece, has threatened Cyprus and oil explorers Exxon Mobil, Eni, and France’s Total for exploring in the Mediterranean; going so far as to threaten to sink oil rigs and Hydrocarbon Survey ships before the US 6thFleet intervened.

 

Turkey has invaded Syria and attacked the Kurds in Iraq as recently as last June. The Government of Erdogan seems to be searching for an external enemy; a classic diversion from an Economic Decline that may be inevitable.

You do not talk nice enough and do not give us enough respect; you are so mean to us! We may not pay the money we owe you and it’s YOUR fault!

Turkey is in trouble economically as it’s currency, the Turkish Lira, plummets in value causing massive internal inflation as the prices of raw materials, energy, and of course food and gasoline skyrocket.  A plummeting Lira means more than just higher and higher prices for the populace, it means more Lira are needed to pay back International Loans denominated in US Dollars. The Lira dropped almost 20% Friday August 10th; Turkey owes $240 Billion US Dollars.

The decline of the Turkish Lira makes repayment more and more difficult.  The US Dollar exchange reached a high of 6.43 Lira to the dollar; a loss of 40% so far this year.  Loan repayment has jumped 40% in just 8 months!!!! The Turkish Sovereign 10 year bond has hit a record of 20.67% from 11.5% in January.

Rising rates are a direct indicator of Market Risk. Mr. Market is stating Turkey will struggle to pay it’s Debt. These loans are never repaid, just rolled over; 20%+ is definitely a danger zone!  Turkey has defaulted and not paid it’s debt 5 times in the last 100 years. A Turkish default will rock the Global Economy and hit the European Banks particularly hard.  Italian Banks have been in the news recently and not in a good way; 20% are reported to be struggling with solvency. Deutsche Bank of Germany has recently closed offices and furloughed 10,000 employees; none can easily afford Sovereign Debt losses. These are Systemically Important Financial Institutions! A Turkish default or even the thought of a default should send shivers down your spine.

An authoritative ruler who has replaced the head of the Central Bank with his son-in-law, who is threatening neighboring nations, who is threatening the US,  who has a crumbling domestic economy that is heavily debt ridden may be looking for an excuse to blame others and not repay those that have wronged him.  You do not talk nice enough and do not give us enough respect; you are so mean to us! We may not pay the money we owe you and it’s YOUR fault! Pay attention! Everything is connected. Turmoil will cause the US Dollar to get stronger;  maybe a lot stronger!

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